Attachment, Addiction, and Vices of Valuing

In Edward Harcourt (ed.), Attachment and Character: Attachment Theory, Ethics, and the Developmental Psychology of Vice and Virtue. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Usa (2021)
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Abstract

Addiction and certain varieties of interpersonal attachment share strikingly similar psycho-behavioral structures. Neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers have often adduced such similarities between addiction and attachment to argue that many typical cases of romantic love represent addictions to one’s partner and thus might be appropriate candidates for medical treatment. In this paper, I argue for the relatively neglected thesis that some paradigmatic cases of addiction are aptly characterized as emotional attachments to their objects. This has implications for how we should understand the nature of addiction and for the ethics of attachment more broadly.

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Monique Wonderly
University of California, San Diego

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